Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Internet banking rates can be too good to be true. A company called Federal Savings offered an 8.85 percent rate on a six-month CD on its internet banking site. When bank rating agencies sought more information, the company's Web site disappeared. Later it popped back up with a 6.25 percent rate. When questions concerning the companies operations were directed to Federal Savings the company did not answer. Its Web site is down again, and the company could not be reached. To see whether a bank is federally insured, go to

Banking scams are growing on the internet and caution is advised. Make sure that the internet bank you have selected is legitimate. In addition carefully look at the name and URL (website address) of the bank in question. In the example cited above, there are many legitimate banks with Federal Savings in their name. So don’t be confused by names which sound legitimate or resemble know banking institutions.

Fraudulent banks on the internet can steal both your money and your identity. Use caution in selecting internet banking sites.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Most of us are careful about divulging our Social Security Numbers or Taxpayer ID Numbers. However soon to arrive in your mail will be key information which can be used to commit a wide variety of harmful identity theft and crimes of fraud. This mail often has blazed across the front of the letter such phrases as “Important Tax Documents” or other phrases that identity thieves can quickly spot. In addition the format for these documents and the envelopes that contain them make them very easy to spot if left unattended in an unsecured mail box.

Identity thieves and credit fraudsters often target un-secured mail boxes. A variety of techniques are used. Some of these techniques are simple such as opening unlocked mailboxes and simply taking the mail. Others are more sophisticated and include using simple tools to extract mail. Sometimes identity thieves will steal mail directly from postal authorities.

Identity thieves, criminal imposters, and other fraudsters know that tax time can be harvest time for identity theft. And W2’s and 1099 tax forms are of great value in committing the many crimes of identity theft.

Here are a few tips for protecting this important information and for preventing identity theft.

-- Locked Mailbox – get a locked mailbox or use a postal box to receive important documents such as W2’s and 1099

-- Clear Out Your Mailbox within 8 hours of receipt of your mail. Don’t let mail pile up in a mail box. Find out the time your mail is usually delivered and pick it up as soon after delivery as possible.

-- Store W2’s, 1099’s, and other tax documents in a locked and secured place within your home or office. Burglars know that these documents have street value and can be sold for cash to other criminals. Don’t leave these documents lying about the house or in conspicuous places such as boxes labeled Tax Documents, or next to your computer.

-- File your taxes electronically or by handing your tax documents directly to a postal official within the post office. Go to the post office window; never post tax documents in outside mail boxes.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


At KnightsBridge Castle we track databreaches as they are reported. The loss of personal information security, enabled by a databreach at a government agency, merchant database, or other source is an increasingly common vector for identity theft, impersonation crimes, criminal activity, and fraud.

Here is a list of this weeks top five databreaches –

- [2007-02-14]

(196,000 Social Security numbers among information on stolen tapes)

Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department
- [2007-02-11]

(Social Security numbers for 2,000 police officers exposed)

Department for Work and Pensions (UK)
- [2007-02-10]

(Bank details of as many as 26,000 pensioners sent to wrong addresses)

State of Indiana
- [2007-02-10]

(5,600 people and businesses notified about credit card numbers on hacked server)

Radford University
- [2007-02-09]

(Breached computer contained 2,400 Social Security numbers and birthdates)

East Carolina University
- [2007-02-09]

(Social Security numbers, names, and some credit card numbers for 65,000 posted to web)

St. Mary's Hospital
- [2007-02-08]

(130,000 names, Social Security numbers and birthdates of patients on stolen laptop)

Central Connecticut State University
- [2007-02-07]

(Letters reveal Social Security numbers for about 750 students)

University of Nebraska, Lincoln - [2007-02-07]

(72 Social Security numbers posted on public web site for over two years)

Johns Hopkins Hospital
- [2007-02-07]

(Missing computer tapes contain Social Security numbers of 52,000)

Monday, February 12, 2007


Under federal and state law you are not responsible for debts incurred by fraudsters and identity thieves. The mailing of a stop contact notice to a creditor, together with a police report of the crime, and an FTC approved identity theft affidavit provides the needed notification to the debtor that a fraud has been committed. Debtors usually cancel the debt after a short investigation.

However, this does not mean the end of collection headaches for a proven fraudulent debt.

For example the collected bad debts of a credit card issuer or merchants may be packaged in bundles of debt and sold to debt collection companies. After some time these bad debts may be packaged and sold again. And then sold again.

Each new collection company may have no record of the status of the debt as fraudulent.

At KnightsBridge Castle we very often see debts that have been acknowledged as fraudulent and forgiven by the debtor, show up in the new collections efforts by collections companies – regardless of the status of the debt as a proven and accepted fraud.

It is critical that you keep written copies of all correspondence regarding the cancellation of a debt. Never fail to follow up a phone call to a debtor with a written notice of the fraudulent charges – even if the debtor says this is not necessary. Do not rely upon “fraud alerts” “information postings” or other notices with the credit rating companies for protection. Credit collections companies who purchase bundles of supposed “bad debts” pay little or no attention to the records of these companies. There only goal is to get money from you – regardless of the proven status of the fraudulent debt.

These fraudulent debts can show up time and time again. And each time you may need to provide copies of the original correspondence about the fraud to stop collections companies from harassing you.

Friday, February 02, 2007


The famed and highly successful Canadian Lottery Scam has begun to spin off new variants and twists. This week we talked with yet another victim of this scam who lost well over $100,000.
We have modified some of the elements of this story, but not the basic facts, in order to protect current and potential victims.

The victim was notified by email of his extraordinary winnings in a Netherlands lottery by a large and ethical lottery company in Europe. However the email was from criminals not from the lottery company. He was directed to a legitimate looking website and given his client access information. And amazingly there was a web page indicating a balance in the lottery bank of millions of euros. All they had to do was provide personal information and pay fees and taxes and the money would be released to him. These criminals are after both money and key identity information to be used in later crimes.

Once again the tragedy of “too good to be true” strikes home.

Here is a copy of the criminal email.

Date: February 2, 2007 8:56:51 AM PST

Computer Ballot Jackpot 'A' Draw Result.

REF No: QNL/4A51/8C60/06
BATCH No: XA3/312-59
TICKET No: 334/ 660078
SERIAL No: 05908
LUCKY No: 9-43-97


Dear Lucky Winner,

Congratulations to you as we bring to your notice, the results of the Free Email Computer Ballot Jackpot 'A' draw 1st Category of LOTTO.NL.

We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Lottery Winners International programs drawn today, 29/01/2007. Your E-mail address attached to Ticket number 334/ 660078 with Serial number 05908 drew the lucky numbers 9-43-97, which consequently won in the 1st category; you have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of EUR2, 500, 000. 00 Euros. (TWO MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND EUROS). CONGRATULATIONS!!!

This lottery is a promotional program by LOTTO.NL (Biggest lottery Organization in the Netherlands) to advertise to the world its existence. All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 50,000 companies and 2,000,000 individual email addresses from all over the world, as part of our international promotions program, which we intend to conduct several times a year.

To file for your claim, please contact our /your processing agent

Mr. Andrew Thompson
Tel. No: +31-61-047-4520
Fax. No: +31-84-722-2680

You are advice to provide him with the following information:
Telephone/Fax number:
Company (if any):
Winning reference and Batch numbers:

NOTE: All winnings must be claimed not later than 14 days, thereafter unclaimed funds would be included in the next stake. Remember to quote your reference information in all correspondence. Members of the affiliate agencies are automatically not allowed to participate in this program.

Furthermore, we call on you to make sure that you save a copy of this mail and note every letter clearly as stated for we will not be held responsible should there be any complications in this transaction due to laxity on your part. Congratulations once more from our members of staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program. Should there be any change of address do inform our agent as soon as possible.
Congratulations once more from our members of staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program. Pls Do not reply to the email address from where you received the information, thank you.

Yours truly,

MS Caroline Van Bosch
Promotion Manager.

************THIS IS NOT SPAM***********


From the official website of the Netherlands Lottery company:

De Lotto warns against a large Lottery scam. In an e-mail (or letter), which is written in bad English, the addressee is told that he/she has won a large amount of money in a lottery. When the ‘lottery’ is contacted, it turns out that the prize can only be collected if a payment is made of thousands of dollars/euros for ‘handling fees’. Obviously the prize is never paid out. The organization behind the fraud operates under different names, often derived from well known lotteries. For example: Lucky Day Lottery, De Lotto Netherlands, Interlotto, Oy Keikkaus Switzerland, El Gordo de la Primitiva and Global Trust Lottery. The police and the Ministry of Justice have been informed about the fraud. Nevertheless, it is hard to stop the malpractices. The criminals give false addresses, and cannot be traced via the stated telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and P.O. Boxes. Neither do they have permanent addresses and moreover, they change their identity regularly.

If you should receive such an e-mail, do not respond in any way, don not provide these people with any personal identity information and do not pay any money!

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